Baba Budan Coffee Edinburgh

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If I’ve come across you any time in the past couple of months, chances are that I’ve extolled the virtues of Edinburgh’s New Waverley Arches. Located to the back of the train station and up a little, the development is absolutely chock-full of independent businesses which range from a city-best nail salon (Buff Concept Store, I’ve got a review coming soon) as well as a Bubble Tea parlour (here) and even a raw restaurant and wine store.

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Baba Budan though, is ruling the coffee-scene up there.Now located in two of the arches (these photos were taken when they were just in a  single arch) Baba Budan is every coffee lover’s dream come true! It’s a stunning little spot where you can hide away from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh, and I have to say, their offerings are pretty much the definition of perfection!

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Every time I go in, I order one of their to-die-for flat whites. The coffee is so rich and creamy, it’s my perfect way to caffeinate! As if drool-worthy coffees weren’t enough, the pastry selection at Baba Budan is in-cred-ible. They have a daily selection of the freshest, lightest donuts you can imagine. They come in dreamy flavours – my latest was bourbon cream, and it was just to die for!

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If you’re more into pastries, Baba Budan has you covered – there are trays of the flakiest croissants and cinnamon swirls you can imagine. I’ve never actually gotten around to trying them yet (because, duh, donuts!) but it’s only a matter of time!

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Baba Budan is also the perfect little lunch spot, as they sell the most mouth-watering of bagels. Filled with everything from tuna to falafel and humous, it’s such a welcome change from my regular lunchtime salad!

Baba Budan is located on East Market Street

 

The Horseshoe Restaurant and Rooms*

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I’d never been to Peebles properly before heading to The Horseshoe Restaurant and Rooms in Eddleston. I think I had driven through in the middle of the night on the way back up from Cheshire, but considering how close it is to Edinburgh, I’m kind of amazed and ashamed I’d never seen it in the daylight.

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The Horseshoe Restaurant and Rooms in located just off the road in Eddleston is definition of picture postcard pretty. With most of the main restaurant dating back to 1862, it was originally a blacksmith’s forge and the rooms are located in a Victorian school building. It’s the cosiest of set ups, and when I found out that they even have their own kitchen garden, I was in absolute heaven!

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Attention to detail is everywhere at the Horseshoe – even the planting beds are planted to supplement the kitchen. Just outside the rooms there are wild strawberries, lavender and daisies, all of which can be used either for desserts or for their wild flower displays which are sprinkled throughout the buildings.

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The restaurant is possibly one of the most comfortable I’ve been in. It’s a luxe mix of golds and rich woods, with candles flickering in every corner. The sitting room and lounge, also has a beautifully large circle window which lets you sit and watch the world go by. The dining room is an intimate affair with only 10 tables which vary in size, meaning it’s easy to find a corner to tuck yourself into to enjoy your meal. We started with amuse bouche of red pepper cream with a red pepper crisp, then duck with a little foie gras. Both were rich and flavorful, setting the scene for the rest of lunch. We also tucked into some of the freshly baked breads and home-churned butter. The olive studded option was satisfyingly warm, with a light crust and springy texture.

Summer truffle risotto, king oyster mushroom and mushroom ketchupThen we moved onto starters, and honestly, there was only one option I was going to choose – a Summer truffle risotto, king oyster mushroom and mushroom ketchup. I’m always a touch nervous opting for a heavy starter, but this one was absolutely heavenly. The rice was perfectly cooked, whilst the mushroom added texture. The cheese and truffle shavings were also a absolute revelation – they were so rich, whilst there was also a citrus element, which cut through the richness, balancing the dish.

Venison loin, black pudding, potato terrine, carrot, raspberries

Then I moved onto the main course, which was a study in rich comfort – Venison loin, black pudding, potato terrine, carrot, raspberries. I was a little apprehensive about ordering venison – I’ve not had it in years, and I’m not a fan of meat that’s overpoweringly gamey. This however was an absolute dream. The venison was melt-in-the-mouth tender, juicy, with a delicate flavour, which sat perfectly with the homemade black pudding which was rich and spicy. The raspberries cut through all the rich meat, with a pleasing tartness, whilst the chard was surprisingly sweet.

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After savouring every mouthful we headed back through to the sitting room and bar area for tea and petits fours. A sort of salted chocolate fudge was absolutely delicious – rich and smooth, and I’m already pondering ways of recreating it at home.

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The Horseshoe is the perfect spot to while away the afternoon, delighting in food that has been thoughtfully sourced and cooked. The pairings of flavours were really incredible, and the wine list is something special too! The Horseshoe offers over 300 bottles – and keep a special eye out for resident wine expert Mark Slaney’s sourced ‘Desert’ Wines!

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If you’re more in the mood for supper, they offer both an a la carte and tasting menu with accompanying wines. There are eight en-suite bedrooms which are, again, so comfy and cosy. Farrow and Ball paint, with crisp white linens mean that you can partake in some of Mark’s wine suggestions without worrying about how to get home safely.

Lunch at The Horseshoe Restaurant with Rooms starts at £20.00 for two courses and their website is here.

Beer & Burgers at Byron Lothian Road, Edinburgh*

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If you’re local to Edinburgh, chances are that you’ve noticed the new Byron which has just opened up on Lothian Road. Considering how often I pop into the North Bridge location for a quick burger, you can imagine how excited I was when I was invited to try out the new restaurant, and learn all about the incredible craft beers that Byron serve.

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So, we tucked ourselves up into a corner of the new restaurant (which is absolutely gorgeous by the way, all exposed brick walls and quirky details) and got ready to learn all about brews.

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To be honest, I’m not the biggest beer drinker – I’ve never even ordered a pint, so it felt like perfect timing. As if a night full of beer and burgers didn’t sound great enough, there were representatives from BrewDog and Sierra Nevada to talk us through the pairings.

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The night started out strong with starters of spicy buffalo wings. I’ve never really felt the need to order these before, but they were an incredible discovery. Lightly battered and covered in the pleasingly spicy and vinegary Byron Hot Sauce, we happily dunked them into the accompanying blue cheese dressing whilst learning all about Byron’s beer beginnings.

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The second starter we tried was the surprisingly delicious Watermelon and Feta salad. I’m not going to lie, I’ve made this salad about three times at home already, as it’s just about the most summery dish you can imagine.

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Then came the burgers; Byron served us two of their most popular from the menu – The Chilli and the Smoky. The Chilli (above) was first up, and was a rather mouth-watering amalgam of meat, jalapeños and chilli mayo. It was pretty much as hot as I can handle, but it was a nice change from my regular choice. Then came The Smoky. In something of a bad blogger move, I didn’t take a photo – but this might be a new Byron favourite (although I still miss their Bunzilla). The mix of crispy onions, bacon and BBQ sauce was divine, and I’m already planning a return trip to grab another.

Byron Cheese & Bacon Fries

To go with the burgers, we were treated to what is pretty much the most extravagant side on the menu! The Cheese and Bacon Topped fries are something of a (seriously) guilty pleasure. Not many places in the UK have cottoned onto cheesy fries, but these were pretty much perfection.

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Then, as something of a surprise, we got a bowl of Macaroni Cheese. Both of us were absolutely stuffed by this point so we only really could manage a forkful, but it was everything you could hope for – melty, cheesy goodness!

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We finished the evening with perhaps the most unique deserts you could imagine – bourbon spiked Irn Bru Milkshakes. Honestly, I was dubious at first – I’m not the biggest fan of the orange drink, and I would live on Byron’s Vanilla hard shakes. Happily though, these ones were a delight – not too heavy on the ‘bru, they were the perfect way to finish the evening!

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If you’re in Edinburgh, I would highly recommend heading over to Byron for one of their rather delicious burgers (and of course, some of my new favourite sides). The new Lothian Road location couldn’t be more central, and it’s an absolute gem of a space! I had an absolute ball learning all about the different types of beer on the menu – it’s so refreshing to see how much effort and care they put into the menu, and who knows, I might even order one the next time I pop in!

 

Tempo Tea Edinburgh

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For the amount of time that I spend in Edinburgh, I’m kind of embarrassed at how little time I spend in the Old Town. I’m far more likely to bounce around New Town or Bruntsfield. Basically, if there’s Georgian architecture around I’m there. That’s starting to change though, and since the development of the Waverley Arches, I’ve been starting to venture further up the Royal Mile on a rather regular basis.

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If you’ve not found your way up there yet, I’m telling you, you need to. Edinburgh has taken some abandoned railway arches and transformed them into a street of adorable little  businesses which are all super chic and are just what the city has been needing!

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The archway I think that I’ve been hitting up the most though, has to be Tempo Tea. It’s an adorable little nook which specialises in every kind of bubble tea you can imagine. If you’ve never tried bubble tea before, and you’re anywhere near Edinburgh, you have to try it out! Basically you choose a flavour, whether you want milk or fruit tea, what tea you want, and then if you want tapioca pearls, popping bobas or a sort of aloe jelly.

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I don’t think I’m selling it well, but trust me, they’re delicious! I first got hooked on Bubble Tea when I lived in Dubai – there was a great one in the Dubai Mall which I visited on an all too regular basis, and I feel like I’m going down the same road with Tempo Tea.

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The shop itself is a dream. It’s teeny tiny, but it’s just so cute! On one wall you can find CDs, T shirts and special candies, whilst the other side has some seating, complete with post-its to scribble on and wall mounted iPads for selfies. It’s such a cute little cafe, and I just love the attention to detail – even the lights are bubbles!

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I’ve been working my way through the menu, and I’ve been seriously impressed with Tempo Tea’s offerings. You can order your tea anyway, and if you’re feeling brave, you can even experiment with combinations!

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I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of embarrassing about how often I hit up Tempo Tea, but they are seriously addictive! My favourite at the moment has to be a XLarge Taro and Vanilla milk tea, with Assam and Tapioca Pearls. It’s got a hint of sweetness without being overpowering, and the pearls are so yummy! My friend grabbed a Banana milk tea with Assam and Tapioca Pearls, and it was delicious too! It pretty much tasted like those foam banana sweeties from childhood i.e. delicious!

If you’ve got a spare afternoon to spend in Edinburgh – head up to Tempo Tea and the Waverley Arches, I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Harvey Nichols Edinburgh – Menswear for Father’s Day*

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I always think buying presents for  men is super hard – and Father’s Day might just be trickiest. Thankfully though, Harvey Nichols has come to our rescue with their relaunched Menswear Department.

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Designed after the flagship Knightsbridge store, The menswear department is definitely the chicest spot to shop for Dad anywhere outside the capital, and to celebrate, the store held a super-fun weekend filled with special services for the discerning shopper. As you arrived up the elevators, you were met with the cutest little bars serving up Arbikie – an incredible Scottish Gin and Vodka distillery.

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As if that wasn’t enough, you could personalise the most luxurious of items – Grenson let you make up your ideal shoes, picking every detail from leathers to laces.

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They could be as subtle or crazy as you could imagine, and the example shoes were absolutely breathtaking.

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My favourite part of the whole event though, was the Etch’d stand, which, with an in-store purchase meant that you could get specially laser-personalised.

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Even though I was expecting just initials, Etch’d can personalise basically anything with a flat surface, and I can’t tell you how awesome their pieces looked! Considering the chaps come from a graphic-design background, their designs were insane!

 

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Based in Tollcross, you can even get phones and laptops laser etched, and I am seriously considering getting my laptop done. It’s just the coolest!

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It’s not just electronics and perfume bottles which got the special treatment though, even shoes and sneakers were etched.

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Since I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by, I popped down to the beauty department to find something etch-able, so treated myself to Omorovicza’s Perfecting Lip Balm. It’s something I’ve been wanting since my facial (here) and the flat lid was perfect for the laser.

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I couldn’t be happier with my rather special balm, and I would seriously recommend heading up to Harvey Nichols’ first floor. The menswear section couldn’t be better, and it’s absolutely packed with awesome Father’s Day gift ideas!

Omorovicza Perfecting Lip Balm is priced at £32.00 (I did receive a discount on mine) and is available in-store. You can find Omorovicza here.

 

 

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